If you want to buy your own home, should you buy a custom built home, a home built specifically to your own specifications? There are plenty of online articles about the disadvantages of buying such a home. There are not as many about the advantages, but there are advantages. If you are even considering buying a custom built home, you should consider the disadvantages. To be fair to yourself, however, you should also consider the advantages. Know the facts, and make the best decision for you and your situation.
Though we like to think that we aren’t wasteful on purpose; that we wouldn’t knowingly use wasteful practices to get stuff done, the fact is that most processes are 90% waste and we don’t even realize it much of the time. That’s because we have to define waste a little differently from what we’re probably used to. Think of it this way-waste is any resource (motion, time, money, stuff, etc.) that is not absolutely needed to get the job done. And here’s the kicker-you can never be completely rid of waste! The laws of physics make it necessary that we live with some waste. Since it requires motion to move your arms, that’s waste! The object is to set things up so they require the least amount of motion (or any of those other resources I mentioned).
Once you make people aware, it’s time to turn that awareness into desire. You start this in the awareness step, but here you really need to drive it home. You want as many people as possible strongly believing that this change is going to benefit them, the company, or something important to them. If fact, that’s the key to step 2. Here’s an example from our visual management example…
The Kaizen Blitz is a decisive, quick attack on a particular area or process in order to improve it. Kaizen means, in general terms, continuous improvement, and the blitz is a great way to get people’s attention and make something happen quickly. It also means that there is little time for resistance to form, or opposition to a new program to develop.
Where is the payback?” The answer lies in the program processes and in the steps taken to sustain all efforts (the fifth S). Management and the 5S team seem to look at 5S as a once and done approach, or something you do on an annual basis when Upper Management visits the plant. The problem in this lies in the level of management’s understanding of material tubular lean, how to properly apply “Total Quality Methods” as well as tools and techniques for assuring quality. Management and the 5S teams take a compartmentalized approach or as I like to call them chimneys (Cylinders filled with hot air and smoke that have no connection to other parts of the organization).
She also points out that getting financing is also harder for custom homes than for buying a traditional house, as few banks will provide construction loans. Reavis notes that even Wachovia, which does still offer the loans, has very strict guidelines for those hoping to obtain such a loan.
The Kaizen blitz is a powerful aspect of the lean manufacturing process. It should be used in the beginning to obtain dramatic results in order to break down resistance to the overall program.